Writing

The Age of Consequences: a Chronicle of Concern and Hope

(Counterpoint Press, Jan. 2015)

This is a book about questions and answers.

We live in what sustainability pioneer Wes Jackson calls “the most important moment in human history,” meaning we live at a decisive moment of action. The various challenges confronting us are like a bright warning light shining in the dashboard of a speeding vehicle called Civilization, accompanied by an insistent and annoying buzzing sound, requiring immediate attention.

I call this moment the Age of Consequences – a time when the worrying consequences of our hard partying over the past sixty years have begun to bite hard, raising difficult and anguished questions.

How do you explain to your children, for example, what we’ve done to the planet – to their planet? How do you explain to them not only our actions but our inaction as well? It’s not enough simply to say that adults behave in complex, confusing, and often contradictory ways because children today can see the warning light in Civilization’s dashboard for themselves. When they point, what do we say?

As a parent and as a writer, this anguished question created a strong desire to document the sequence of events that I was witnessing as well as attempt to explain our behavior as a society. Hopefully, we would manage to turn off the warning light in the dashboard, but if we did not I was certain that future generations would want an accounting of our behavior.

So, in 2008 I began to write, blending headlines, narrative with travel and research into chronological installments, crossing my fingers.

Meanwhile, my work with the nonprofit Quivira Coalition provided hopeful answers to various Age of Consequences concerns, including many ‘low-tech’ solutions involving sunlight, grass, dirt, creeks and animals. These answers included ecological restoration, grassfed beef production, local food systems and carbon sequestration in soils, all part of what is being called a ‘new agrarianism.’ We saw it as connected – cattle, soil, grass, water, food, people – all working in nature’s image of health and regeneration.

Eventually, I viewed these anguished questions and hopeful answers as two sides of the same coin and pulled them together into this book. Answers exist if we’re willing to work together and try new ideas (and some old ones). While there’s much to worry about these days, there’s also a lot that we can do together at the grassroots – beginning literally with the grass and the roots.

  • Two Percent Solutions by Courtney White
  • The Age of Consequences by Courtney White
  • Grass, Soil, Hope by Courtney White
  • Revolution on the Range by Courtney White
  • Knowing Pecos by Courtney White
  • In the Land of the Delight Makers by Courtney White
  • The Indelible West by Courtney White

Buy a Book (from your local bookstore if possible):

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-61902-454-0

http://www.amazon.com/Grass-Soil-Hope-Journey-Through/dp/1603585451

http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-59726-174-6

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Samples from an ongoing photography project called Here & Now :

            

    Telecommunication Spool      Santa Fe, NM           Neanderthal Statue        Dordogne, France